Kathy Cano Murillo, otherwise known as the Crafty Chica, creates a one-woman enterprise through creative talent and persistence.
LatinaLista — Her legions of fans know her as the “Crafty Chica,” and today craft entrepreneur, syndicated columnist, artist, book author and tv/web personality Kathy Cano Murillo lives up to her alter ego.
In fact, if it weren’t for the fact that Kathy was crafty she might not be where she’s at today.
“When my husband and I were married in 1990, we didn’t want to go off and get separate jobs,” Kathy said. “We knew we were creative and decided to give it our best shot at making a living from our artwork, music and writing.
“So, I looked into all the resources necessary and addressed each one. Some worked, others didn’t. It was half serendipitous and half making the connection, but in the long run — year-by-year everything clicked into place.”
During this time, the Arizona-native knew she couldn’t just wait around for her proverbial ship to arrive. She had to take action, even if it meant staying up late at night or juggling four things at once.
She went to night school and got her Bachelor of Arts degree. All the while, she continued to produce her crafts and artwork and traveled with her husband to area art shows to sell their products.
But living off money earned from selling their creations wasn’t enough to pay the bills. To make ends meet, Kathy accepted a job at her local newspaper as a reporter and found herself writing entertainment features.
Yet, she never gave up on the idea of trying to make a living from what she really loved to do — her crafts.
“I have lots of dreams,” Kathy admitted. “I work to make sure I achieve at least several a year. Instead of saying “Someday, I want to do this…,” I put that dream on my to-do list and work at it a little bit each day.
“I try not to put things off, especially opportunities. I act on them right away. I call them my extreme projects.”
Confessing that each project takes a different amount of time to complete, Kathy sets goals for herself. She allows six months to complete big projects while accepting that some projects will be ongoing.
Her approach to fulfilling her dreams seems to be working. Her reporting job soon entailed her writing a weekly column on her favorite subject — making crafts.
She had always wanted to travel the country teaching art and was finally able to fulfill that dream last year. This year, she’s already booked to go to Europe to teach.
“I always tell people that we can do whatever we want. It’s a huge world out there, BUT nothing will ever fall in your lap — you have to pinpoint the resources and act on them. Then stick to your decision, say it out loud and work on it everyday.”
To achieve her long-term dream of making a living off of her crafting, Kathy created a list of short-term goals:
1. Make a list of all the ways to bring in income.
2. Make a press kit.
3. Build a web site.
4. Develop a mailing list.
5. Write and send press releases.
6. Send samples to potential buyers.
Yet, even with a list of tasks to be completed set before her, Kathy says that prioritizing tasks and knowing when to put efficiency before indulgence were challenges she had to learn to overcome.
She also had to learn to overcome disappointment.
“You can’t give up when things fall apart, because they do” Kathy said. “You just have to take a deep breath, let yourself cry for one night and then get back on the saddle again.”
That determination has paid off in big ways for Kathy. To this day, there’s only been one thing she’s given up — her day job as a reporter.
She still writes her syndicated craft column, runs her Crafty Chica web site/blog, has published two works of fiction, is traveling the seas sharing her talents on special cruises, stars in an online series produced by Lifetime television and is the national spokesperson for craft supplier Duncan Enterprises where she is also designing the Crafty Chica product line.
It’s been a long successful journey, all because Kathy decided to hazlo.
Kathy shares three tips in taking your dreams to the highest level:
1. Research like crazy! Define what makes you different, what is your message, what do you want to relay? Make up some kind of tag line or mini-mission statement.
2. Spend a weekend day doing these things: Brainstorm on what you really want to do; Pinpoint two or three specific goals; Describe your “big-picture” — what you want to be doing in 5-10 years; Make a plan with a timeline; Make an outline of the resources.
3. Afterwards: Take one duty at a time, work on it a little bit each day/week; Look for others who are doing what you want to do and see how they are doing it; Don’t be afraid to tackle some things on your own. If you need a web site, build one yourself, rather than spend the money. There are a lot of drag-and-drop programs out there! Before you go to sleep (before you say your prayers), think about what you want to do and what tasks you’ll complete to get there.